Geez, Jesse Jackson Jr. wants Barack Obama’s Senate seat bad. His (U.S. House) office (is this legal?) just sent out this e-mail:
Valerie Jarrett NOT interested in US Senate seat; Poll shows Jackson Jr. frontrunner for Obama seat 11-11-2008
(CNN) Nov. 11, 2008 – Two Democratic sources close to President-elect Barack Obama tell CNN that top adviser Valerie Jarrett will not be appointed to replace him in the U.S. Senate.
“While he (Obama) thinks she would be a good senator, he wants her in the White House,” one top Obama advisor told CNN Monday.
Over the weekend, Democratic sources had told CNN as well as Chicago television station WLS-TV that Jarrett was Obama’s choice to fill his Senate seat.
Jarrett, a Chicago attorney and one of Obama’s closest advisers, is a leader of the president-elect’s transition team. Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the incoming White House chief of staff, praised her as a “valuable ally.” “People should know that Valerie Jarrett is — and people do know — she is a very dear friend of the president-elect and a valuable ally of his, not only prior to running for president, in his Senate life, and just personally for Michelle and Barack,” Emanuel said on ABC’s This Week.
Several other Illinois Democrats have expressed interest in the seat, including Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich will make the final decision on Obama’s successor.
– CNN Political Director Sam Feist
This summary of a Zogby poll – commissioned by Jackson – was attached.
Zogby: Jesse Jackson Jr. Leads Field of Obama Senate Successors
Poll of likely voters statewide shows Jackson would defeat two Republicans in a Senate race: Jackson support spans the state
UTICA, New York – Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois’ 2nd District is the favorite among possible replacements to fill the U.S. Senate seat to be vacated by President-elect Barack Obama, a new Zogby telephone poll shows.
The survey, conducted Nov. 5-6, 2008, shows that, given a choice of 10 possible candidates, 21% think Gov. Rod Blagojevich should appoint Jackson to the seat when Obama leaves it vacant to ascend to the presidency, far more than the rest of the field. Tammy Duckworth, a former Democratic congresswoman candidate from a suburban Chicago district, is the only other potential candidate to win double-digit support – 14% said she should be appointed.
Well, yes, but 21% isn’t exactly overwhelming, particularly when several of the other potential Obama successors have lower name recognition.
Jackson’s base of support is strongest among those who consider themselves “strong Democrats,” 32% of which believe he should win the appointment to the Obama seat, while 14% favored Duckworth. Among moderately strong Democrats, 25% said they think Duckworth should be appointed, compared to 20% who favored Jackson. Among weak Democrats, Jackson leads with 18% support, compared to 12% support for Duckworth.
Among independent voters, Jackson is favored over Duckworth by a 14% to 10% margin. Among Republicans, Jackson is also favored over Duckworth. Support levels for other candidates are 6 percent for Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, 4 percent for Congressman Danny Davis and 4 percent for State Senator James Meeks. Several other candidates received less than 1 percent.
Now, this is where it gets interesting. One factor – you would think – in naming Obama’s successor is the chance that person will be able to hold onto the seat in a statewide campaign. That’s what Jackson is getting at here.
Jackson’s support spans the state of Illinois – he is favored for the appointment by a wide margin in the Chicago area and in the St. Louis metropolitan area, but also is favored in the suburbs and the rural areas of the state.
Now here comes an effort to put Jackson forth as the successor-of-choice among Obamaphiles.
Among those who voted for Obama in the presidential race, 25% favor Jackson for the appointment, compared to 15% who favor Duckworth.
And, back to the theme of holding on to the seat, Jackson had Zogby poll himself against several possible Republican challengers – a meaningless exercise given that any such campaign wouldn’t take place until 2010.
Jackson Would Defeat Republican Opponents
In two prospective Senate races, Jackson would defeat Republican Congressman Ray LaHood by a 50% to 31% margin, the survey shows. Among the 15% who were not certain about whom they would support, nearly two said they were leaning toward Jackson for every one that was leaning toward supporting LaHood.
Jackson’s district includes part of Chicago and extends to the south suburbs. LaHood is a congressman from rural Illinois whose district includes Peoria and the northern suburbs of Springfield.
In a prospective match-up against Republican Congressman Mark Kirk, Jackson wins 48% support, compared to 32% for Kirk. Among the 15% who are leaning toward one candidate or the other, Kirk has a 10% to 7% edge, the survey shows. Kirk’s district is north of Chicago along the shores of Lake Michigan.
And is this really any surprise?
After a short biographical statement was read about Jesse Jackson Jr., respondents were much more likely to support him for the U.S. Senate – 69% were more likely to support Jesse Jackson Jr. for the U.S. Senate, while 25% were not likely.
Finally . . .
Likely voters across Illinois were asked whether they have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the following people who are potential candidates for the U.S. Senate seat now held by President-elect Barack Obama:
Name/Favorable Rating/Unfavorable Rating/Not Familiar-Not Sure
Jesse Jackson Jr. 43% 22% 35%
Tammy Duckworth 31% 9% 60%
Jan Schakowsky 21% 5% 74%
Danny Davis 20% 8% 72%
James Meeks 17% 8% 75%
Donnie Trotter 13% 3% 84%
Cheryl Jackson 13% 3% 84%
Kwame Raoul 5% 4% 91%
For the most part, I like Jesse Jackson Jr. But his aggressive campaigning for the job has become a turn-off. Of course, he really only has to convince one person: Rod Blagojevich. And maybe he’s trying to make the ground fertile for a choice that could boost the governor’s popularity. But all this posturing does is make me wonder what methods of persuasion Jackson might be willing to engage in behind the scenes. Back off, Junior.